Power Steering Hose Failure. Ideas? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 02, 06:49 AM Thread Starter
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Saturday, after driving only three miles, the high pressure power steering hose let go. This is the second failure within three hundred miles.

The hose was put in correctly. I took extra care while dressing it in past the headers but perhaps it was still too close.

I haven't had a chance to pull it yet so do not know if it failed as the first one did. (Blew out where the header either touched it or got too close.) I'll know tonight.

I'm not the only one with headers and power steering so the questions are;

What have you done to keep your two hoses from contact with your headers?

This might sound like something off the Click and Clack show, but...

I think my carb is running a lean, perhaps this is causing too high a header temp and therefore I'm killing hoses? How much heat can they handle?

Any input is always appreciated.


Rick O'Loughlin
'69 RS-SS (Clone)
Amherst, NH

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 02, 08:38 AM
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Mine also fried and spewed all over. I slipped a sleeve of some high temp material over it and tied it back under the edge of the control arm with zip ties. Seems to stay out of harms way now.

'69 400SB, Richmond 5-speed
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 02, 09:00 AM
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This doesn't really apply to stopping the heat but if anyone is interested I found a cheap way to replace power steering hoses or any type of high pressure lines.Go to a guy that sells farm tractor parts and/or repairs them.The hydraulic lines on my GMC diesel went and GM wanted close to $300.00 bucks just for the one hose!! Went to a farm place and got it custom made for $40.00.Hope it helps someone

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 02, 10:45 AM
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Ok...My car was originally a six-cylinder with power steering, so I don't know if my PS pump still has the six-cylinder lines or what, but the high pressure line is longer than the correct small block line and does not run down through or by the motor mount. It comes out of the pump, goes straight down and a little towards the driver's side of the car (I think) and then curves back around to run parallel with the inner fender just above the upper a-arm mount. I don't know if the guy that did the 350 conversion got a longer line off another car, or if this is the stock 6-cylinder line, but it works great...the hoses are never anywhere near touching the headers, and it looks like it was meant to be built this way. You can sort of see the pressure line right beneath the fender brace in this pic: So, maybe a six-cylinder line would work for you.

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[This message has been edited by jrt67ss350 (edited 04-29-2002).]
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 02, 12:05 PM
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I don't think the 6 cylinder hose works - I had to replace mine with a V8 hose when I converted from 6 cyl to V8. Unfortunately I don't remember why exactly - might have had to do with the angle of the fitting where it screws into the back of the pump. My V8 hose has a sharp 90* bend where it comes out of the pump - I don't think the 6 cyl line had this same bend.

There is a pressure bypass valve somewhere in your system that may be letting pressure go to high and causing your problem. I'm not 100% sure but I think it is in the back of the P/S pump - it might be right behind the high pressure line.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 29th, 02, 03:58 PM
David Pozzi
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Both hoses should go from box fittings, to wrap around the end of the steering box end straight down. There should be a tab off the top of the box bolt that holds one of the hoses back away from the engine and keeps it in place. The hoses are clipped together with a metal wire clip, The pressure hose usually has a foam cover on part of it to prevent chaffing.
The hoses then wrap around the bottom of the engine frame mount and come up under the PS pump. I would get some firesleeve from the speed shop and cover the pressure hose. You can't allow the hose to touch the header at all.

PS fluid can set your car on fire, be careful!

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[This message has been edited by davidpozzi (edited 04-29-2002).]
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 02, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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TheWebb1: I may take your idea one step further and see if we, (local supplier and I) can work up a slick re-design. Scotts hi-temp wrap miight be included. (Thnx Scott)

Justin: I was looking at going over the top as an alternative but two thing bother me about. One, I'd rather minimize exposed hoses. Second, and more importantly, these cars run power steering hoses for a hundred thousand plus miles. Why can't I get it both straight and bullet proof? This simple little problem will drive me slowly nuts.

Eric: Steering box (close ratio), hoses, power steering pump are going to be replaced. This will mitigate any undue hi-pressure concerns.

Dave: This morning I flipped through Classic Industries and I noticed a mounting tab, or bracket that I do not have. The description made it sound like it attaches to the steering box itself. This does not make sense to me considering the two 90 degree bends on the hoses, (hi pressure & low return) are pretty rigid. Why would they have a hose bracket an inch or two beyond those two 90 degree bends? You lost me. I don't see it in my minds eye. Can you provide some digi-photos without any bother to yourself?

Plan-B: Cruise nights and check out some cars to see exactly how the lines dress in. This will leave my car down for a while. Drats.

Plan-C: Design a hose that (from steering box to pump)

Starts with it's 90 degree bend and transistion to hose. Transitions back to tubing that follows the lower a-frame countour and bends 90 degrees to go through the frame. Back to hose and then tubing for the power steering pump input.

With your help guys, I figure out the right way to dress this in to be hardy for another 100k. Or maybe this is a "build a better mouse trap" opportunity. We'll see.

Thanks for the input so far.

Rick O'Loughlin
'69 RS-SS
Amherst NH

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old May 1st, 02, 07:01 AM
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I purchased a new reproduction hose from Classic Industries for a small block V8.. The hose I received did not have the proper size fittings on either end! The side that screwed into the steering box had threads that were too small to engage the threads in the box. The other end had a fitting that was supposed to be used with an O-ring and my pump has the flange/flare set-up. Even if the ends were correct, the bends in the metal tubing at both ends would not have allowed me to use the hose, or if I had been able to use the hose, it would have to have made some strange twists and turns to work. I ended up cutting the fittings off of my old hose, and then welding them onto the new hose after I shortened and got rid of a lot of extra steel tubing. The result is a hose that comes off the pump and does a 90* down turn and within two inches goes to tubing. Then it snakes under the frame stand and then follows the subframe back up to where the upper A-arm bolts and then bends and runs up to the top of the box where I welded on the other single 90* end and it bolts into the top of the box. When it was all said and done, I had almost 8 extra inches of metal that I cut off the new hose. It all works perfectly now with no leaks. I am by no means bashing Classic-I just wanted to make clear that through the years, my pump, and steering box must have gotten changed out-probably several times! I agree that someone needs to make a custom hose for a fair price that will go in without any issues.

1969 Camaro SS 350-383ci./365HP, T-56, 12 bolt, Power Trax Locker, 3.73 gears, 4 whl disc, Deluxe black houndstooth interior, rear window defogger, tilt steering, floor console w/gauge package, center mntd. clock, tachometer
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 02, 04:59 AM Thread Starter
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In the final analysis, the problem with the power steering hose is a direct result of the Hedman Header design.

I compared some and found that the Hooker Headers front three tubes slant back. The Hedman headers first tube slants back and falls below the second and third tube which goes straight down. This almost completely fills the area where the power steering hoses run in a stock configuration.

I spent a bunch-o-hours at Camaro's Plus looking for a nice hose to tube, to hose design. We came up with a tube template that looks pretty good.

I have located an outfit local to me that will do the assembly and test. What I need now is to locate a vendor that will bend tubing with the same quality that we see with those pre-bent gas/brake lines.

The design summary follows like so...

The steering box typically has a 90 degree bend, I'll use a 105 degree bend to bring the hoses up a little, almost horizontal.

The fitting and bend will be of stock length which goes into a 4 or 5" high pressure hose.

Here it goes back to (heat wrapped)tubing that follows the contour of the frame to just below the motor mount and bends to the front. A bracket, (same bracket used for gas or brakes lines) is mounted on the frame to hold the tubing near this end.

Tubing changes back to hose and goes to the power steering pump.

Hose goes in to the "Z Type" fitting, verses 90 degree type, and in to the pump.

The "Z Type" is important as it provides more hose length which provides for flex, vibration protection to the overall hose design and provides for better alignment.

Any input, refinements, comments, "just changes the headers", "you got way too much time on your hands"

...are all welcome.

Rick O

PS: Since my car is now down, for a short time I'm going to use a wrap to protect both lines. I see no way to make it look so I will continue the design.

Edit: Hedman typo fixed. PS added.

[This message has been edited by Scoop69RS-SS (edited 05-03-2002).]
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 02, 08:41 AM
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That's about right, I've got Hedmans on my 69 big block car, and I've also been through 2 high pressure hoses, both blew out from being to close to the header. Not to mention the fact I had to beat the crap out of pipe #3 to get them to fit to begin with. Story of my restoration, one thing after another...........

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old May 3rd, 02, 05:21 PM
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I'm in the process of making power steering hoses for my 69. I used Earl's #139107ERL pressure line out of the pump. The rest is Aeroquip stuff. Aeroquip #FCM2964 and #FCM2965 adapter fittings for the box with #FBM1389 and FCM1532 hose fittings; #FCM2872 flare to braze w/ Aeroquip #FCM1512 fitting for return to pump. The pressure side got Aeroquip AQP High Pressure Hose and the return side got AQP Socketless hose. I think all this was under $80. It will look great and you can route it anyway you wish!

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